Medyo last year pa itong speech ni Sen. Sotto na ito pero ipopost ko na rin as I just found this on his website:
25th Public Installation of Officers of the Kaduh Lodge No. 278 of The Free And Accepted Masons Of The Philippines
Jan. 21, 2011
Remarks of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III at the 25th Public Installation of Officers of the Kaduh Lodge No. 278 of The Free And Accepted Masons Of The Philippines, Socsksargen Masonic Center, General Santos City.
I would like to thank you inviting me as your Guest of Honor and Speaker on the occasion of the 25th Public Installation of the Officers of the Kaduh Lodge No. 278 here at the Socsksargen Masonic Center of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines in General Santos City. I also extend my personal thanks to Senior Warden John Anthony N. Tan for this honor and I extend my congratulations to him for being the incoming Worshipful Master, a distinction he rightly deserves.
I take this opportunity to thank all of you my brothers in the craft for the help you extended me when I was here campaigning last April for senator of the Republic. My victory in the last elections could be attributed to several factors and one of them, I am sure, was the full support from our Masonic brethren from all over the country.
I know that membership in our craft is a challenge to all. Some say curiosity is the beginning of interest in membership. It is the spark, but it is not the fire that will prove that a member will be dedicated to our fraternity. Tragically, curiosity is also the beginning of a life lost to drugs. I urge all of you to be on the guard of the youth around you who exhibit a change of behavior, or keeps himself or herself solo in a room over extended periods of time. An abrupt change of mood or character may be the first signs we can detect to save one more young soul to the lure of illegal drugs.
We were a misunderstood organization for a long, long time. During the Spanish colonial period, because we were speaking of Divine Providence and the brotherhood of man, we were deemed against the Christian faith. Our men of letters were observant of the ills and injustices in the Philippines committed by the Spanish colonizers, and the Spanish administration officials mistook their membership in the craft as a policy decision of the organization which therefore resulted in our being tagged a subversive group by the Spaniards. Since I am among our brethren of the craft, let me reflect on certain aspects of the history of our craft and of our nation. Our independence was carried to fruition and cemented by the guiding hands of Masons. Bonifacio and Rizal, both prominent Masons, were the “midwives” - so to speak - of the birth of the young Filipino nation. Their free and inquiring minds lighted the torch of freedom and democracy in the Philippines and which paved the way for other democracies in Asia and the Pacific. Aguinaldo, then Quezon, and even my grandfather, Vicente Sotto, former senator in the first half of the 20th century, were outstanding Masons. We Masons speak our truths standing, if need be alone, to be heard by one and all. The story is told, which I found to be true when I was researching the book on my grandfather, that my grandfather wished to be buried standing up in order to defend himself if necessary to inquiries in the after-life. His wish was granted, and only after some time was he laid to rest lying down.
And so, I congratulate your brotherhood once more for being one of the active fraternities in this Lodge. It has been a great honor for me these past many years to be counted as a member of the craft. I will always treasure this till the setting of the sun of my life.
Today, I am happy to note that we of the craft no longer bear the stigma of a filibustero, or subversive, as was the practice during the Spanish colonization period. The Katipunan’s rites and practices were said to have been inspired by the craft due to their similarities in symbols and rituals. It is only understandable, for the great Bonifacio was a true Mason. Let us all find our proper place in our country and society and contribute to make ourselves better and the country more progressive in the years to come. Let us form the new Katipunan in our hearts, for love of God, country and fellowmen.
Mabuhay and maraming salamat po.